War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0592 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF OCCUPATION, W. VA.,

Camp Scott, near Cross-Lanes, Va., September 11, 1861.

Brigadier General J. D. COX, Gauley Bridge, Va.:

GENERAL: Yesterday we reached the Cross-Lanes at 2 o'clock; drove in the rebel pickets; followed them closely up to their entrenched camp, which was situated in a dense forest. Reconnoitered so closely that our reconnaissance was about to change into an assault, when, night coming on, we drew our weary and exhausted troops out of the woods and bivouacked on our arms about three-quarters of a mile from the entrenched camp. At 5 o'clock in the morning our pickets found their camp was evacuated, and was taken possession of by one of our companies. It was found to contain a large quantity of plunder, commissary stores, quartermaster's stores, &c. A few prisoners were taken, and about 30 of Lytle's men sick in hospital on the other side of Gauley, and their ferry-boats destroyed.

We heard your cannonading yesterday, and presume you proved another trough nut to crack. We have not been able to follow them into the defile of Meadow River for want of a ferry or means of making one, and our provision train being behindhand. We are encamped advantageously, and will hurry our preparations to unit the two forces as soon as possible. You will probably have discovered our movements and have sent up a strong force on the New River road to watch and follow Wise's retreating column. If you have not, do so at once on the receipt of this, starting your men with three days' cooked rations in their haversacks, their blankets, and forty rounds in cartridge-boxes, and let the provision train follow your column. Your adversary Wise begins to respect you.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. S. ROSECRANS.

HEADQUARTERS CORPS OF OBSERVATION,

Poolesville, September 12, 1861.

Colonel R. B. MARCY, Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac:

COLONEL: I would respectfully call the attention of the major-general commanding to the condition of this command as it is to be when existing orders shall be executed.

It now consists of five regiments of volunteer infantry, one troop Fifth Cavalry, one company regular field artillery, one company (half full) volunteer artillery.

By Special Orders, Numbers 43, the cavalry company is now detached from the command and two companies of volunteer cavalry ordered to replace it.

From our position, guarding 22 miles of river and canal, embracing three fords, well-instructed cavalry vedettes are peculiarly necessary to prevent surprise on the one hand and needless alarms on the other.

My labors will be vastly increased by having uninstructed cavalry, and the proper training of this arm of volunteers more than any other requires the contact of regular troops of the same arm. I hope that it may be found consistent with the interests of the service to have one regular cavalry company here.

Colonel Gorman, commanding First Regiment Minnesota Volunteers, has been appointed by the President brigadier-general and ordered to report in person at Washington. If practicable, I deem it important that he should be near this regiment, which requires his experience and military knowledge.